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A. There was my father, with tears in his eyes.

B. There was my father with tears in his eyes.

Given sentences A and B, is sentence A only grammatical because, without the comma, sentence B can imply that there were more than one father?

So, is sentence A, where "with tears in his eyes", which is set off by the comma, as non-restrictive information, qualifies "my father", correct English if there was only one father?

I think that on the condition that there was only one father, sentence A only is grammatical and correct English.

If I'm right, is sentence C below correct English as well?

C. There was a woman next to my father, with tears in his eyes.

Here, "with tears in his eyes", as a non-restrictive information, qualifies "my father"

Last edited by MinJ
Original Post

Hello, MinJ,

@MinJ posted:

A. There was my father, with tears in his eyes.

B. There was my father with tears in his eyes.

Given sentences A and B, is sentence A only grammatical because, without the comma, sentence B can imply that there were more than one father?

So, is sentence A, where "with tears in his eyes", which is set off by the comma, as non-restrictive information, qualifies "my father", correct English if there was only one father?

I think that on the condition that there was only one father, sentence A only is grammatical and correct English.

I think both (A) and (B) can work. "There" can be an adverb of place (meaning: in that place), in which case there is inversion of "My father was there," or a pronoun used with the verb be to specify the people present:

A1. There was my father, with tears in his eyes, and my mother, with a smile on her face.

B2. There was my father with tears in his eyes and my mother with a smile on her face. (Similar to: My father was crying and my mother was smiling.)

Last edited by Gustavo, Co-Moderator

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